7 Easiest Ways to Access Blocked Websites

Don't let restrictions dictate your browsing habits.

Featured Img Ways To Access Blocked Websites

Whether the URL you want to visit is blocked by your ISP or georestricted by site owners, you can remove the restrictions yourself. Maybe you want to help friends who live in countries where they can’t access the sites you take for granted due to government censorship. Alternatively, your favorite VPNs might be blocked by your ISP. With this guide, you can unblock anything you want. We will show you the easiest ways to access blocked websites.

How ISPs Block Websites

All websites can be blocked by your ISP or government. As an end user, you have no control over it. Censoring a site’s URL is very easy. Because all your web traffic passes through a single port on your network, ISPs only have to introduce a middlebox facing consumer Wi-Fi routers/MiFi devices. It can easily change the DNS addresses of banned IP addresses. When you try to access those sites on a browser window, all you see is a “Can’t reach this page” error.

Blocked Websites Access Blocked Website Example Twitter

How to Access Blocked Websites

Below are different methods you can use to access blocked websites. All are well-known techniques to bypass ISP restrictions and government censorship.

1. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

When it comes to accessing location restricted websites, using a virtual private network (VPN) is the first choice for many. A reliable commercial VPN is also the best way to override ISP/government censorship because it uses end-to-end encrypted tunnels leaving no trace of your presence in the network logs.

Some of our top VPN recommendations include ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Mullvad VPN, SurfShark, and Privado.

To access a banned website using a VPN, you first need to download its installer from its official website or an app store. After installation, you can choose an overseas server which helps you access the blocked website. Most commercial VPNs have a “Kill Switch” to suddenly terminate the connection due to Internet issues, thus preventing accidental IP address leakage.

While VPNs are very effective in overriding website restrictions, what can you do if the VPN services are banned by your ISP or government? The following methods might solve the trick.

2. Mirror Sites and Alternate URLs

If a website is restricted by your ISP, you can regain access to it using its official and unofficial mirror sites, and alternate URLs, if available. Currently, all major VPN providers maintain mirror sites to help you out should the main site be banned. For example, NordVPN can be downloaded from its official site nordvpn.com as well as a mirror site nord-help.com. And once you’re back on a restricted VPN service, there is no stopping you from accessing any site you need.

Blocked Websites Access Mirror Location Nordvpn

The only problem with mirror sites is that their links aren’t permanent, and the changes are difficult to keep track of. The best way is to run a simple Google search to find the latest mirror sites for any banned website.

If you’re unable to access YouTube, Vimeo, and other video sites on your network, try using alternate mirror links such as, Safe Share TV, Toogles, ViewPure, and many more. Just enter the desired YouTube URL and you can watch the restricted content easily. The best part is you get to watch these videos without any advertisements or pop-ups.

Blocked Websites Access Alternate Url Safeshare Example

3. Free Web Proxies

Using an anonymous web proxy has always been a popular alternative to VPN services. Just like a VPN, it can hide your IP address and encrypt your connection to ensure a high level of privacy. While ISPs block free web proxies from time to time, the new ones will easily show up on Google search.

Among the latest free proxy options, ProxySite and CroxyProxy are extremely reliable websites giving excellent site rendering. Both of them support multiple servers based in US, Canada, Europe, Israel, and other such locations with the least amount of georestriction.

Blocked Websites Access Free Web Proxy Example Proxysite

4. The Tor Project

Nothing comes close to the Tor Project when it comes to bypassing censorship. Tor ensures user privacy through its unique onion routing where the traffic data is encrypted and hopped through multiple intermediary nodes. While Tor can be slightly slower, it is a robust technology that will always keep you one step ahead of any censorship or restriction attempts.

If your ISP has blocked the official Tor Project download link, you can easily get past the restriction using alternate Tor downloads hosted at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and The Calyx Institute. You can also download Tor from some of the safest software sources such as Sourceforge or GitHub. The latter maintains many Tor repositories which are safe to use.

Blocked Websites Tor Project Unofficial Repositiories Github

The Tor Project is extremely serious about defeating censorship and surveillance. This is evident by one of their email services known as “GetTor”. You only need to send an email to gettor@torproject.org specifying your operating system (and your location). For example, “Windows es” (Spain), “Windows IN” (India), “Windows zh_CN” (China/Simplified Chinese language).

If you send your email using Gmail, they respond almost immediately listing one of their available providers and the download links. Supported providers include “Dropbox, Google Drive and GitHub.”

Blocked Websites Access Gettor Response Email

Many VPN providers like Mullvad VPN maintain an active presence in the Deep Web/Dark Web where you can use their Onion addresses to download the VPN software. This means if you just download and install the Tor, you can unblock pretty much any other service using VPN. Accessing VPN and Tor together is easily possible as both services complement each other.

Blocked Websites Access Onion Links Vpn

Follow the tips included in this tutorial to learn how to use Tor properly.

5. Changed DNS Settings

As mentioned earlier, ISPs can use their DNS address to impose restrictions on websites and their IP addresses. Such a problem can be overcome by using a public DNS service, and there are many to choose from. You can always find Google’s Public DNS IP addresses using Google search.

  1. To change the DNS settings on a Windows device, you need to visit the “Control Panel-> Network and Internet-> Network Connections”.
  2. Right-click on the network you use for Internet access. Select “Properties.”
Blocked Websites Access Control Panel Network Connections

  1. Select “Internet Protocol Version TCP/IPv4/IPv6)” as applicable, and double-click on it.
  2. This will open a new pop-up window where you can change the IP and DNS server addresses.
  3. Currently, Google’s public DNS server IPv4 addresses are “8.8.8.8” and “8.8.4.4.” respectively. Its IPv6 addresses are “2001:4860:4860::8888” and “2001:4860:4860::8844” respectively. Enter the details in the column for “Use the following DNS server addresses.” Always double-check to ensure you’re using the current DNS server address.
  4. Once you change your DNS server from your ISP to Google’s Public DNS, it will help you overcome any websites restriction.
Blocked Websites Access Change Dns Server Address

Google isn’t the only one in the public DNS space. Cloudflare and OpenDNS are extremely reliable public DNS server companies which provide a high degree of security and encryption on public networks. There are many other DNS server companies which can be found using a Google search online.

6. SSH Tunneling

This one requires a little technical knowledge, but is actually easy to learn. Secure Shell (SSH) tunneling is a classic maneuver used to remotely transfer files and data to servers around the world. But that same SSH tunneling technique can be used as a de facto VPN. We will demonstrate it for Rebex Buru SFTP Server which is very easy to use, and can be quickly installed on a Windows device. Rebex is free for personal use.

  1. After finishing a simple installation from the download link, you will be asked to register the SSH server as a Windows service. You can simply check “Start immediately” and use your local Windows system account (your computer credentials and password) to login into the interface.
  2. Once logged in, you need to create a new user for web administration.
Blocked Websites Access Rebex Setup
  1. After you finish installation, Rebex will launch a localhost login screen on a browser window. Log in using your created credentials and now you’re in a position to share files and web content with remote users worldwide.

Note: To use SSH tunneling to unblock websites, it is important you have access to a remote SSH server in another country.

Blocked Websites Access Rebex Sftp Server Web Administration

7. Use the Wayback Machine

We have saved the easiest method for the last. The Internet never forgets any information you post online. The Wayback Machine is one of the best examples of such a long and distant memory. Almost all web pages are cached and at least one of their snapshots is stored in The Wayback Machine. You can easily find many more as this is the single largest repository of archive contents.

If your ISP or government pulled the plug on a website, and it is no longer available online, you can still view the archive snapshots using date-wise search. Of course, this method can only be employed as a temporary or one-off solution.

Blocked Websites Access Wayback Machine Snapshots

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my browser block specific websites?

Sometimes, a browser that you’re using may not allow access to a particular website although you can easily access it on another browser. For example, Google Chrome cross-checks all web pages for malicious links or downloads, policy violations, and any legal issues, so the browser may prevent you from accessing certain sites which it deems unsafe for your PC.

Why can't I unblock websites at my school or workplace?

Website unblocking is very difficult to pull off if your device is on a shared LAN common at schools, colleges or the workplace. This occurs due to stricter content filtering policies applied in these networks targeting individuals. Unless you can figure out how to get the system administrator totally off your back, you may not be able to unblock websites in a restricted network.

Can I use a browser extension to unblock websites?

We won’t recommend using browser extensions to unblock website as they can be a big source of malware. However, you can check our recommended extensions for Google Chrome which enable security and privacy features such as HTTPS everywhere, cookie autodelete, and unshortening URLs.

Image credit: Unsplash

Sayak Boral
Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox